29 October 2008

Bronze Star Ceremony

Today husband FINALLY had his Bronze Star ceremony! I was able to go, and was one of three wives that showed up to watch an entire regiment formation/awards ceremony. Slightly sad...

Anyway, husband's was first and as soon as they started reading the blurb about his deployment and success in leading his team my heart started pounding and I felt like the proudest wifey on earth. It was amazing to watch. It really made me think though. If everyone only knew the details of what he went through over two years ago that lead up to this award, they'd have been just as emotional as me. Those details aren't to be shared (although I do know them) and he probably won't share them much, if at all, again in this life. He struggles daily to move past that deployment, the events that took place, the life that was lost, and the part of himself that he'll never get back. This was a milestone for him today. He knows it, but refuses to make as big a deal of it as I insist on doing. Here are some pictures. My good friend 1LT Hollijo Monroe is a couple people to his left with the tan CAV hat on. She was awarded an Army commendation medal today.

Just a in formation, getting ready to start.

Just a fraction of the number of soldiers that were in the full formation.

Caught hubby's eye for a straight-on shot before they were ordered to turn around.

Hubby being presented the award. Yes, they all look the same, but I know the back of his head anywhere. Mattea things they're all "daddies" and squeals whenever she sees a group of soldiers!

After the formation, taking in a little shade. Tate was in school and had already missed almost a full day that week so we opted not to pull him out again.

22 October 2008


I was called to be the Relief Society president in my branch! I accepted, while I was bawling (not really, but I did burst into tears when asked!), and as soon as I said the word "yes" this enormous peace came over me and I haven't shed a tear, felt a flutter in my stomach, or collapsed under overwhanxiousness (my new word). Everyone keeps asking me "You sure you can do it?" or "This is huge, are you ready?" and "Girl, this is going to be big, are you overwhelmed yet?". My answer is simply "No!". I'm totally calm! This is how I know its right! I can't wait for my counselors to be called and to really dig in. I'm not the type to come into something and completely overhaul it, and really, that's not the greatest first impression to make on people either. I think a lot of things are working well the way they are. I just hope to do what I can, tweak if necessary, and grow spiritually as I help those around me do the same. The Lord will take care of what I can't. That reminds me...

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference

Can I get a AMEN? I have a necklace of my mother's from when she was a teenager/young adult. On the back is this prayer engraved and on the front a pair of hands praying. You may see it on me more in the future.

I'm a different "type" than most Relief Society presidents. As one person I know told me "they put someone that wasn't old into an old lady's calling!". Well...that's not totally true. I feel much older than I really am, but even more true, is this is not meant to be an old lady calling! Not at all! I feel ready. Fortunately I've had a lot of supportive comments and phone calls from sisters in the branch telling me I'm going to do great, not to worry, etc. Thank you sistas! I totally needed to hear those things. I was afraid that as soon as my name was announced to the ward we'd have the first "opposition" to a calling to blog about! Really, I was terrified of what people would think. But I felt more peace as I sustained along with everyone else. I trust that the Branch presidency was inspired and took PUH-LENTY of time to think this one over.

So...if you are reading this and wondering "what the hay is Relief Society?" go to http://www.lds.org/pa/display/0,17884,4644-1,00.html and read! Its worth your time. In fact, if you don't know what Relief Society is you're probably one of those people that has always wondered "what the hay are those Mormons all about?" Take some time to educate yourself, properly, and stop wondering! www.mormon.org

16 October 2008

Holy C130!!!

So I was outside watching my daughter splash around in the pool a little while ago and I thought I heard something, like wind or a rumble. I looked up and...holy C130!!! This plane looked like it was making a beeline for my house! I had heard they were landing in the sand near my house as practice for desert landings overseas (kicking up the dust on a landing, taking off, and coming back in through the dust). I didn't think they were that close though! It was eery, really. This plane is a beast on wings. It looked like it was hovering, rumbling, yet remained eerily quiet as it made its way into the neighborhood and then turned, sharply, towards an area in the "nothingness" not too far from our house that is pure sand (no shrubs or joshua trees) to land. I was in awe! I took a ridiculous amount of pictures the first two times it came in. The sounds of aircrafts on a military post, along with the sound of small arms fire echoing from the range, are so soothing to me. I realized today, that when we retire, I want to be near a post. I want to hear those sounds as long as I can. It makes me feel safe, proud, and never ceases to create this amazing energy inside of me. Here are a few pics. The plane was much closer than the pictures make it seem.

13 October 2008

No...everyone and everything!

I've lost it...I told a fly "no" today. Freaking hilarious, I say! I'm so used to telling the stupid dogs no, and occasionally Mattea and Tate...ok, and even husband...that a fly landed on my hand while I was feeding Mattea delicioso pancakes for lunch and I yelled "no!" at it! As if that would work. Its still buzzing around the syrupy mess in my daughter's bowl. Man...next thing I know I'll be cricket whispering or something.

09 October 2008

Trip Pics

The front view of Cabin #1. Our home the first night.

Sarah and I.

At Bear Lake

Nymph Lake

Sarah and I, Long's Peak in the backround. I blame my closed eyes on the fact that complete stranger took the picture.

View outside of our cabin and in front of hot tub.


My trip was amazing and exactly what I needed. I had come to the point where every shreik or attitude jab or dust bunny was about to drive me over the edge and I literally thank God I was able to go.

Sarah and I stayed our first night at Swiftcurrent Lodge in Estes Park. Our adorable little cabin (actually three-plex of cabins) was inches away from the bank of the river. We slept to the sound of the river bubbling along and unfortunately the cars driving on the highway right by our window. Where the were going we have no clue, the road was a dead end. The traffic finally died down after about midnight. We signed up for a slot to use the hot tub that also sat on the bank of the river. In fact, we were the only ones to sign up at all...both nights! Who wouldn't love sitting in the hot tub as the sun sets on the river, the cold night air sinks in and as you relax in the bubbles you glance around every few minutes checking to make sure a mountain lion or bear hasn't decided to join you. Freaking awesome, I say.

Funny (in each sense of the word) things about this lodge...

1. Rules...rules...everywhere! Every room had new rules posted. Every rule had a fee as a punishment. I felt like we were staying a couple of nights at a communist retreat! Basically it boils down to this...for every rule you screwed up...$25 to your credit card.

2. The beds...couldn't get the matress to budge. These beds were so firm we ran and jumped on them and I barely felt them give at all. We both had massive mattress hangovers both mornings we woke up. Motrin was our friend.

3. The complimentary shampoo and conditioner was below even dollar store quality...yet our bathrooms both nights had a free Schick Quatro razor! These are almost $10 in a drug store, yet they can't even give us Breck or Prell for shampoo at least? Messed up...

4. With my new uber-short hair-do everyone gave us looks that reeked of "woah...look at that lesbian couple staying in cabin #1". "Yeah...I'm the dude" became our inside joke catch phrase we'd whisper to each other with every freakish stare. Flipping hilarious! Can't even begin to describe how much fun we had with that one and how bad our sides hurt from laughing about it.

Anyway, the river and the screaming yellow aspens, the smelly blue spruces and the quaint bank-side porch swings made up for it all.

Hiking...hiking in RMNP was killer....almost literally. We hiked Bear Lake, easy peesy. Less than a mile around the lake, but with breathtaking views and crystal clear water. We were at about 10,000 feet. We came down and went back up a diferent way to Nymph Lake. A more difficult grade on the trail, and Sarah thought she was going to need an oxygen tank, but we made it. The lake was covered in lily pads and surrounded by pines stacked on top of pines with rocky outcrops popping out at the top. From here we could see the top of the snowy peaks. We wanted to keep going, but in fear of Sarah dying from an asthma attack we decided to eat p.b. and jelly sandwhiches we brought to make and just hang out for a while. We were casually stalked by an obese grey squirrel, who particularly liked to sit right behind me and drill holes in my back by staring me down. We were good little hikers and didn't give in by sharing. "Don't feed the wildlife" is posted every three and one quarter inches on signs around there.

Oh, forgot to mention...at Nymph Lake, we walked off the trail (big mistake) to go around the lake. Sarah was a little way in front of me and started flipping out, demanding I "get over here and look at this!". Yup...an enormous mountain lion print in the mud on the shore...fresh... we may have set the record for hiking pace while we booked it back to the trail, any minute expecting to have an overgrown, hungry cat land on one of our backs from a tree limb.

There was so much more, it would take a novel to write, but this sums up some of the most exciting things. Shopping around Estes, renting a DVD player to watch movies the second night, eating delicious pizza on the bank of the river while reading a real estate magazine and being asked by the waitress if we were thinking about buying (yup...i'm the dude), eating homemade ice cream, driving through a "controlled" burn in RMNP that, by the way, looked OUT of control to me, and spotting a male elk waiting for a hottie to walk by and make babies with are just a sprinkling of the rest of our weekend. I'll make my pictures a separate post...if you're even still reading at this point.

08 October 2008


my trip to CO was amazing. I believe I even called it perfect. I have so much to write about the trip and some great pics to post...yet I have no energy to get down much more than this. no clue why i'm so sluggish and uninterested tonight (or the past few weeks for that matter) in keeping up with my entries. i think popping an ambien and hitting the hay early might do the trick...sleepy butterfly, come land on my shoulder so i can smile in my sleep looking perfectly groomed and pleasant. wait...that's lunesta...right? ah well...sleeping drug is a sleeping drug is a sleeping drug...let's see if this can recharge me.